Spring has sprung in California, so I went up to Big5 and spent the princely sum of $1.25 for a needle to blow up my basketball, which has gone flat after, oh, a couple years of being completely ignored. But now, inspired by the weather and my non-stop weight gain lately, I've decided to go down and shoot around, and hopefully make it a habit again.
Now, I have a general idea of how much pressure to put into a ball, but without a gauge I'm not sure of the exact PSI so it's hard to tell what's actually "right"... But since we're now entering the age of Complete and Contextual information, it was pretty easy to look up.
According to the Wikipedia entry on Basketballs (amazing, no?) the FIBA specification states that basketballs must bounce at least 1300mm (51") when dropped from a height of 1800mm (71"). (Conversions courtesy of the Google calculator). Since I happen to be 1870mm tall (I'm 6'2"), this works out quite well for me. I hold the ball level to my eyebrows and if it bounces up to about the middle of my torso, it's good.
And it was, actually, no need to adjust. 25 years of playing basketball must have embedded that bit of sensory knowledge deep inside my skull. Well, it actually felt a little too bouncy at first, which is why I checked, but it's actually just about right. Most basketballs you play with in a pickup game are a bit soft anyways - it helps the roll on the rim - so that's probably why it felt tight. Who wants to go down to the court and hear *clang* after every shot anyways? Give it a couple weeks and enough air will leak out to feel just right, I'm sure.
Whew... getting the needle, blowing up the ball, checking it's bounciness, and then blogging about it all. That's a lot of work! I think I'll go lay down on the couch for a while now.